BBC News

Newspaper headlines: May's offer to EU 'pauses Brexit'

By BBC News

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image captionPrime Minister Theresa May says a two-year transition period is needed before Brexit

Many of the papers lead on the prime minister's Florence speech.

"Theresa May walks the tightrope" is the headline on the Mail. It says she's "hit the pause button" on Brexit to placate warring wings of the Conservative party.

Those close to the Brexit secretary, David Davies, tell the paper Mrs May's rejection of what they call a "never-ending transition period" is a "big setback for the remainers".

And while the prime minister's upbeat tone should be seen as a rebuke to the "gloomy" chancellor, Philip Hammond, the Mail says he's won a victory with the PM's offer of a transitional period.

Meanwhile, the Times focuses on the figures. It says Mrs May has offered a significant compromise to Brussels, by signalling she's ready to pay a so-called divorce bill that the paper puts at £40bn.

Its editorial describes her speech as being full of major concessions - camouflaged with aspirational language in a bid to appease euro-sceptics.

The Sun says the cautious welcome given by the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier will boost hopes that the deadlock in Brexit talks can be broken. It praises what it calls a "grown-up, sensible" speech - and tells Brussels "Now it's your turn".

Criticism from some MEPs is highlighted in the Guardian as the paper points out the European Parliament has the power to veto any Brexit deal.

According to the paper, the leader of the European People's Party - Manfred Weber - says time is not on London's side. And it says another centre-right MEP believes the UK's position remains as vague as it was before.

Away from Brexit, the Financial Times says the revoking of Uber's licence to operate in London comes at a sensitive time for the firm, as it courts a £10bn investment deal.

Women priests 'allowed'

In an editorial, the paper hopes Uber will recant its indifference to rules and make verifiable changes.

But it questions whether investors will keep paying for the taxi-hailing firm to disrupt markets, while making huge losses.

Finally, a long-standing scriptural justification for preventing women being ordained as priests might be based on dodgy ground, according to the Daily Telegraph.

A section of Corinthians says "women should be silent in churches. They are not allowed to speak but must be in submission".

But researchers writing in the journal New Testament Studies have noticed a symbol next to the text, in one of the oldest versions of the Greek bible.

They say it shows the verse was doctored. Some scholars dispute the claim, however - arguing there is no surviving manuscript without the key passage.